Photograph of ET Leeds
Archives and Artefacts
Photograph of ET Leeds beside a trench
Exploring the Past through the Work of E.T. Leeds and A2A



In 1941, at a site immediately south of Purwell Farm, gravel diggers uncovered thirteen graves. Various finds from these graves were acquired by the Ashmolean Museum.

Saucer brooch from 1941 excavations (AN1942.154)
Shield boss fragments from 1941 excavations (AN1942.149)
Saucer brooch and fragment of a shield boss found in 1941 at Purwell Farm, Cassington

View artefacts found in 1941

The Oxford University Archaeological Society (OUAS) with E.T. Leeds excavated a further eight graves during the following year. The graves contained four men (graves 1,3,4 & 5), two women (graves 2 & 7) and two children (graves 6 and 8). Four of the burials appeared to be stone lined.

Leeds at Cassington
E.T. Leeds at the excavation at Cassington 1941-42

Finds from the graves included a number of knives, shield bosses and spearheads, which are usually associated with male graves, alongside brooches, beads, a needlecase and an ivory purse ring, associated with female graves. Pottery sherds were also found amongst the burials. The finds from this excavation are held by the Ashmolean Museum.

Finds from grave 2
Finds from the grave of a young woman (grave 2)

View artefacts found in 1942

Subsequent excavations in 1957 and 1958 by E.M. Jope discovered the floors of two groups of Anglo-Saxon sunken-featured buildings and at least two kilns. A saucer brooch and skeleton were found in the vicinity of the buildings. It appears that one or two Anglo-Saxon settlements existed on this site. The finds suggest a date of between the sixth and seventh centuries for this settlement.

The finds from these later excavations are held by the Oxfordshire Museums Service.


E.T.Leeds and M. Riley (1942) "Two Early Saxon Cemeteries at Cassington, Oxon", Oxoniensia 7, p62-70.

A. MacGregor and E. Bolick (1993) Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non- Ferrous Metals), BAR British Series 230.

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